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A Daily Little Happy Thing. Day 1 – Spending Time With Family

Hello my little happy bunch, and welcome to my new and improved blog set up!

I’ve decided to move away from self help because honestly I don’t feel like I’m being true to myself dishing out so much advice. I mean, I love trying to help, but my heart just isn’t in it.

So, for 2018 I’ve decided to move back to what I originally created this blog to be about: those little happy things that happen throughout the day. 

When I first set this blog up I was in a bad place emotionally. A long-term relationship had broken down, a beloved family member had died, I wasn’t feeling too happy. But I read somewhere online that said focussing on small positive actions everyday will overall make your life seem brighter.

And it really worked! Within a few weeks I felt much better. And I eventually abandoned this blog as I was out having too much fun!

But I’m back to what I originally intended and feeling much happier about it.

So, today’s little happy thing is a simple one: spending time with family.

My new years morning didn’t start off great. I’d had little sleep due to fireworks in the night upsetting my pooch, and then our neighbours had blocked my partners car in so I had to go out and move my car so he could move his. No lay in for me.

Due to being so tired I was going to spend some time in bed, but I decided to pop over and see my dear Nan for a little while instead.

She made one of her legendary cups of tea (made with loose leaf tea, the best kind of tea) and we chatted about family members, alive and dead. And discussed future plans (like my wedding coming up in a few months, eek!)

It was nice. And if I’d allowed myself to sit and wallow in my tiredness at home I never would have experienced this. So I’m glad I managed to drag my arse outside for a while!

Let me know a little happy thing that happened to you today in the comments, I love hearing other peoples stories.

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My #1 tip for living a happier life

Hello my little happy things,

I know, I know, an unnecessarily sensational title to try and lure people to read my blog, why on Earth would I do something like that?

Well, in this case it’s because I really want people to read this one particular post of mine. Even if you’ve never read another word I’ve written I want you to read these words. Because they’re important to me.

my number 1 tip for living a happier life

So, little bit of background on this post. I quit my job a few months, have set up an Etsy shop which I adore, and am pretty much living how I want to live. Yes, there are money stresses, my partner and I are planning a wedding on a shoe string budget and we have the threat of being kicked out of our house next year.

But everything is still all good.

I have spent a lot of my time and resources searching for happy. I’ve read countless blogs, books and soaked up pretty much everything I could get my hands on. I’ve discovered religion, and then swiftly ditched religion again. I’ve been single, I’ve had flings, I’ve had long term relationships. I’ve focused on other people, I’ve focused on myself. I’ve tried most things, and to varying degrees of happiness.

After a lot of soul searching and contemplating about what to write about, I’ve decided to write about this. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

So, I bet you’re now gagging to know what my number 1 top tip for living a happier life is?

It’s letting go.

Let go of past hurts. Let go of loved ones lost. Let go of embarrassment. Let go of hate. Let go of “responsibilities”. Let go of worry.

You’ve probably heard this before, and I know how difficult it can be to just let go. There will be emotional baggage you think you will never be rid of, but that’s only because you’re still holding onto it.

Everybody in the world has something to be unhappy about. That is a fact. Most people probably have several things to be unhappy about (first world problem, it’s essentially always money). But it is only through holding onto that unhappiness and not allowing it to evolve into something that we remain unhappy.

A little example for you. My Etsy shop is my baby at the moment. I’ve only been going for a few months, but I feel like I’m doing well (At the time of writing I have 83 sales and am aiming for 100 by the end of the year!). But, we need more income. We have a wedding to plan for, a potential house move to prepare for, and a big dog who needs more treats because he is just the best!

It would be all too easy in this situation to hold onto the worry and the stress that looming money problems can cause. But nah, we’re not doing that.

We’re making a positive out of these negative situations, letting go of everything that doesn’t matter and focusing on what does. We can do a wedding on a tiny budget and make things ourselves. We’re planning on moving into a caravan if we do find ourselves being evicted. And I’m looking into cheap homemade treats for my boydog.

I’m also using this as motivation into making my business succeed. I’m doing well, but I could be doing a lot better. I want to turn that worry into success. This will be my springboard.

And all of this can only be achieved through letting go of the negativity which naturally shrouds my brain, and allowing myself to use that energy for positive means.

I hope all of this has made some sort of sense, and I really do hope that you can see what I mean by all of this. Let me know in the comments if you have any experience with letting go.

All the best,

One Little Happy Thing

One Little Happy Thing

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What to do when your creative business is quiet

Hi my little happy bunch,

So, my Etsy shop has been super quiet just recently, and I’ve been pulling my hair out! If you’ve read my previous post How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too. you’ll know that my Etsy shop is currently my only form of income (apart from a very understanding partner).

Obviously I turned to some other bloggers for advice and found an absolute treasure trove of essential lists for this, and number 1 tips for that. But after the first post I read the rest were mere copies and I couldn’t learn anything new.

Not to mention the fact that I have already implemented most strategies on my shop and still haven’t seen much of an improvement. But I digress…

It got me to thinking of things us small creative business owners can do when times are really quiet. Things that I haven’t heard before, and hopefully you won’t have either.

when your creative business is quiet

1. Spend time on your self care.

Yep, that’s right, spend some time on you. Some months will be quieter than others, embrace that fact! When it’s quiet spend some time on whatever self care you enjoy the most. I really like walking my dog so I’ve been spending extra time on our morning walks.

But whatever it is, just do it. When you’re massively busy again you’ll appreciate having taken a little bit of time out for you.

Also, I find my best ideas pop up once I’ve taken a break. Let your brain relax, and the rest of you will follow. And before you know if you’ll come up with that top idea which shoots your shop sales up into the stratosphere!

2. Try a different craft.

Your business may be based around crochet, or prints like me. Use this time to try a different craft. I’ve been attempting paper cutting, which I have to admit I enjoy but am not very good at (Yet. I’ll keep trying).

This could be a game changer for your business as you just never know what you might stumble upon that you enjoy and can implement into your business. Who knows, it could even turn into a new business venture for you, that’ll really keep you on your toes.

3. Join a networking group.

Social media has some serious power when it comes to pulling customers into your shop. This slow time is the perfect time to work on your social media skills. And an awesome way of doing that is joining a networking group.

Just make sure it’s a good one. I don’t mean all this like for like nonsense: you need a group that genuinely understands networking and wants to help build relationships between small businesses.

I’m in an amazing small business networking group on Facebook, and we all work hard to raise each business up. It is a treasure trove of invaluable knowledge (I’ve recently had a Facebook post go viral which has brought quite a lot of traffic to my page). It is well worth investing your time in a decent networking group.

4. Get outside.

I’m a massive hippy at heart (which you’ll know if you read my blog posts fairly regularly). I truly think getting outside and into nature is one of the best things.

Get outside, find a nice spot to sit for a while, and just enjoy being outside. The wind on your cheeks, the sun on your skin, the ground beneath your feet. Focus on nothing and soon ideas will be rolling through your mind.

I have a notebook app on my phone for times like this so all of my grand ideas can be jotted down and I can come back to them at a later date.

5. Speak to friends and family.

Or just anyone you’re close to really. Ask them about your business, see what they think you could be doing. Some of my best most profitable ideas have come about after speaking to the people I care about.

Recently I was speaking to my Mum about how quiet my shop was, and she had the brilliant idea of creating prints based around Star Signs. My shop is dedicated to nature and the outdoors, so I incorporated the constellations, and I’ve sold a few already.

Not to mention they’re now some of my favourite prints!

It can be so worthwhile asking for help so don’t be afraid to ask.


Things may be quiet, especially when your business first starts. You won’t know which months will be quiet and which ones will go mad.

Whatever you do: DO NOT GIVE UP. A short rough period can easily be turned around into an amazing ascent for your business, you just need to take some time to breath and refocus. The quiet times are the only times you will get to do this.

I hope you’ve found something a bit different in this blog post. I always try to think outside of the box when it comes to my business. It can be all too easy to be caught up into making money constantly that you forget that making money isn’t all what a business is about.

If you don’t lay the foundations for your business to be sustainable it will collapse.

Good luck with it my happy little bunch.

Much love,


One Little Happy Thing

Just click the image to be taken to my Etsy shop where you will find tonnes of gorgeous and unique wall decor for people who want to bring the outdoors in.

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The #1 downfall of running a creative business from home

Hello my happy little bunch,

I’ve been absolutely atrocious at updating my blog just recently. I’ve been so busy designing and uploading products into my Etsy shop I haven’t had a moment to think about content for a new blog post.

But this one has been brewing in my mind for a few weeks now.

When I initially left my full time office job I was under no illusions that running a creative business from home wasn’t going to be easy. The first year of any business is difficult and believe me, only a few months in and I’ve been tested.

It would be so easy to give up, but that’s just not my style. Plus, the thought of working in an office again makes me want to run and hide in a cave. Bleh.

I’ve struggled with not having a regular income to rely on. Luckily for me my partner is supporting us financially, but that makes me feel a bit like a failure for not bringing more to the plate. All the more motivation to make it work though.

I’ve struggled with mind block. I had to take a few days away from the business during the month because I felt totally lost. My shop is new, and I feel like defining my brand has gotten the better of me and I’ve lost my way. Luckily after a few days break it was like the clouds parted and I could see what I needed to do again! Phew.

I’ve also struggled with the work load. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to create more. But that’s not what I need to be doing right now. What I’ve created I am happy with, but I do feel like some of it doesn’t fit with my brand. And that is just because of the pressure I put on myself.

The number 1 downfall of running a creative business from home

But what’s the main downfall? Well..

My #1 downfall of running a creative business from home


Pure and crushing loneliness (some days).

I have my partner, and my dog, but some days I just crave human attention. And do you know what? That’s because I’ve been so focused on my small business I’ve sort of pushed my other relationships to the wayside (sorry friends).

It’s not every day either. I’m quite an introvert and so I’m fairly comfortable with my own company. Some days even seeing other dog walkers on my morning walk is a bit much, then others I can’t help but stop and chat with them. Just to be speaking to someone.

And there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you’re lonely. In fact until you admit you’re lonely, you can’t deal with it. I finally sat with my partner and opened up about this, and as always he made me see sense again.

Loneliness can be easily overcome.

Arrange a date with some friends.

Get on the phone and reach out to your friends. Text them, ring them, message them on Facebook, it doesn’t matter: reach to them. And if those friends are worth it I can guarantee they’ll love to hear from you.

But don’t just agree to hang out, arrange a date with them. Go for dinner. Visit the cinema. Make it a bit more an event. Get dressed up and make it special.

Making it a bit more special stops it from feeling just like an every day occurrence. It is a social EVENT. Make it grand. You’ll feel so much better for it.

Find an online tribe.

There is so much talk across various blogs I follow about finding your tribe, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until quite recently.

Offline I already have a tribe. But online I don’t really know anyone, let alone any small creative business owners who are maybe going through the same struggles as me.

That is until I stumbled across a Facebook networking group. Now I know what you’re thinking, like4like networking is terrible. But this group is different. We network in such a way that we build bonds together, we work on reaching new audiences together. It’s not just a case of throwing a link on a comment and giving it a like.

Those guys are my online tribe. I know they are experiencing the same struggles as me, and we can support each other through those struggles.

I can’t advise you more about finding an online tribe. Etsy also has lots of teams, there may be something on there if you don’t use Facebook.

Find someone to work with.

Yep, that’s right, reach out to any other people you know who work from home and see if they want to hang out and work together for a day or so a week. Not all of the time as that would just be distracting for both of you.

Even if you’re both busy working having someone to hand to idly chat with, or to ask their opinion on something will be absolutely invaluable. You can even both take a lunch break together.

Having human contact even just for a day or so a week will be helpful.

I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. 

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing

One Little Happy Thing

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Self Care for Creatives – The Ultimate Guide

Phew! I haven’t written in quite some time! I’ve been just so busy adding to my online shop I haven’t stopped for a moment to do some writing. But that’s going to change. I find writing too therapeutic to give up!

And, whilst working through setting up my Etsy shop it’s got me thinking: I love the practise of self care, but when you’re working for yourself it can be tricky to prioritize.

And so this post was born!

I have to admit, the last couple of months I have been all work and no play, and that has resulted in a total burn out this week.

Yep, a complete burn out.

The week started off really positively, I had a massive order (5 prints to one customer, love them) but then nothing. Tumbleweeds have been blowing through my shop. I know this time of year is quiet, but seriously, this quiet?!

And that resulted in tears, threats of just giving up, job hunting (seriously, I went online and started compiling a list of jobs to apply for!) & eventually sitting in my comfy clothes watching films for an entire day and eating a whole packet of biscuits.

The kind of behaviour which is unhealthy for so many reasons. 

And after talking to some other small business owners, it doesn’t seem I’m alone in this behaviour. The first year of owning a business is the hardest. You have to work hard for those sales, to build a tribe and to make a success.

So, how do we look after ourselves small business owners? Read on!

Self care for creatives

Take regular breaks.

Stop letting yourself work through lunch. Stop waking up early and going to bed late. Just stop for a bit.

What I want you to do is set a timer, and every hour go off and do something else. I like sitting in the garden. Just for 15 minutes break away from the laptop, or whatever WIP you have going on.

And make sure you take time to eat. I worked through my allocated lunch breaks for pretty much a month solid. And look what happened to me. I give myself 30 mins to an hour for my lunch break, which gives me plenty of time to eat and to watch some telly or something.

These breaks give your brain time to replenish and get over the mental onslaught that is the working day!

Have a weekend.

I know, it’s tricky when you’re working for yourself. But give yourself a weekend! This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything during the weekend.

My partner works Sunday-Thursday, so Friday and Saturday is our weekend. We go on adventures, we visit new places, and by Sunday morning I’m full of new ideas and motivation to make my little business work.

This doesn’t mean I completely forget about the business, I just don’t design any new prints. I’m still on social media (Hello cheeky Facebook link, come say hi!) and responding to messages though.

This time is vital for me. This is when some of my best ideas pop into my head. It’s also when my partner gives me some of his best ideas too 😉

Drink plenty of water.

This seems like a really simple and really obvious one, but seriously, drink more water. It’s too easy to work solidly, go off out to the garden, come back and work again, and before you know it it has been 3 hours and you haven’t drunk more than a few sips of water.

Get yourself a lush water bottle and keep it topped up with super cold water. My partner keeps his in the fridge so we always have super cold water to hand.

Letting yourself get a bit dehydrated is so detrimental to your focus and brain power. Water is like the brains lubricant and just keeps everything running smoothly.

Do the things, drink the water.

Find your happy.

You know when you’re feeling quite down in the dumps, and you just need that one thing that without fail cheers you up? Yeah, find that. For me it’s turning off my phone and watching a film, but for you it could be cute cat videos, or playing video games.

Try out a few different things, see what works for you, and when you feel your mood getting a bit low do the happy thing!

I’m also quite partial to funny dog videos, but luckily my big dog Tank is always on hand for a cuddle. That helps.

Get pumped!

When my shop is a bit quiet, I find myself getting really sad and annoyed that my hard work isn’t being noticed, do you get that too?

You know what I find helps: standing in front of the mirror and telling myself that if what I already have isn’t selling that I need to find the next thing. I imagine all the possibilities of being a successful business owner: money, security, freedom. All the things I want.

And these thoughts go into a big cloud in my head which I keep looking at, reminding me of why I’m doing this in the first place.

It is so important to keep looking ahead in business. Yeah, you need to keep a track of how your business has done in the months and years before, but when it comes to innovation and progress forward is the only way!

Find other small business owners to talk to

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve found tricky to overcome since starting working from home is being lonely. I’ve gone from working in an office of around 200 people to just sitting on the sofa with the dog.

It does get lonely.

But, I’ve found a brilliant group of gals on a Facebook networking group. I know if I go to them saying “I feel like sh*t, someone cheer me up” that someone will pop up with some helpful words and a virtual hug.

Find a group like this. I would post a link but I think entries to the group are being severely limited at the moment (because honestly, it’s that good an environment and the admins work hard to keep it that way).

If you have more idea’s on how to look after yourself as a creative business owner then please add them into the comments! Sharing is caring afterall 🙂

Stay strong my small business owners!

Much love,

Sophie – One Little Happy Thing

One Little Happy Thing

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How I quit my day job to pursue my dreams… And why you should too.

How I quit my day job to pursue my dream

I have been super quiet on the blogging front for a few weeks now, and there’s a good reason for that! Back at the start of June I quit my boring desk job to pursue my dream. I’ve since set up my Etsy shop and have started designing and selling my own prints!


Before this point I’d been working in an office environment for 6 years. I left college fresh faced and full of joy at 19, found the office job within a couple of months, and hated it ever since. Not. Good.

Fast forward 6 years. I’d had enough. Although I was working in an admin capacity, more and more work was being lumped on us daily. With no pay rise to match. Can you see why I wanted to leave?

Not only that, my mental health was suffering. I was fast approaching a burn out. Big time. I would cry before leaving for work in the morning, come home and get angry with my partner for absolutely no reason, then go to bed and cry again.

How can people be expected to live like that?!

And how many of you out there do live like that? Society tells us from a young age that we have to go get a job, work 8.5 hours a day, get a mortgage, pop out some kids and then retire to somewhere a bit greener.

But what about those of us who don’t want to live that way?!

I’ve always known from a young age that I don’t want to live the way I’ve been told to. And when I met my partner, a total kindred spirit who also doesn’t give a toot what society tells us we should be doing, it’s like all the pieces fell into place.

So, onto the big question…

How I quit my job to pursue my dream!

Disclaimer: I’m lucky to have a partner who wants nothing but the best for me, and was willing to saddle the burden of being breadwinner for a while. And I don’t mean just a few bills, he pays all of the house bills at the moment. But it can still be done even if you’re financial situation isn’t all that rosy. Read on.

1. Plan ahead!

For a little while we both knew I HAD to leave that job. Initially the plan was to find a part time job to keep us ticking over financially, but finding a part time job is like looking for chickens teeth where we live.

So we set a date for my departure. And we saved a bit of money. Fortunately I already had a substantial savings pot, but if you don’t I would highly recommend having enough money saved to cover your ass for a few months.

We also started getting rid of bills we didn’t need. Bye bye Spotify! Bye bye unnecessary insurance! We didn’t quite get rid of Netflix, just downgraded to their basic package. We don’t bother with a TV license as we don’t watch live TV, so we figured this was a good trade off.

Once you’ve got you’re outgoings to a minimum and saved up a wedge of cash, it’s time for the next step.

2. Hand in your notice.

This step is a surprisingly big one! I know a few people who have handed in their notice, only to retract it a few days later. You need to hand it it.

And do not retract it. No matter how scared you get. 

Quitting a job without another one to go to is terrifying. But you know what? It’s also the most exciting thing you can do in an office! Plus, all of my co-workers would look at me with big dreamy eyes and say “I wish I could do what you’re doing”.

Maybe I should send them all a link to this post?! 😛


3. Take time to build your dream idea.

So, you’ve quit your job, you have no source of income but you should have enough money to last you a few months. Now what?

You need to start building on your dream. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s setting up an Etsy shop like me, or becoming a dog walker, or becoming a full time blogger. You need to think it through and have a vision in your head.

My Etsy shop has been an idea I’ve had for a long while. I make woodland and adventure themed home decor. It’s stuff that I would personally buy, and stuff that other people have already started buying.

Without a clear idea in your head of what you want to do, you won’t be able to achieve it. This includes researching your dream idea too. Look at how much other dog walkers charge, or the legality of having an online business.

By the end of your first week of freedom you should have a really well rounded idea of what your dream entails.

4. Just go for it!

It sounds silly, but sometimes people can drag their feet even though they know what needs to be done. Do. Not. Hesitate.


The longer you hold off from doing it, the more you will hesitate and second guess, and the more likely it is you will start running out of money and have to go find another dull office job.

It took me a while to build up enough designs to create my Etsy shop, but I did it fairly quickly. I knew that if I held off too long I’d just never do it.

And as of writing this I’ve had 18 sales within a month and a half. Ask any other folks setting up their Etsy shops and this isn’t too bad. I mean, it’s not enough to say I’ve earnt a lot of money. But it’s enough to show that I have products people like and are willing to spend money on.

I’ve also found pure excitement in the fact people across the world are buying my products! I’ve had several sales to America, and one to New Zealand. I love it.

I really hope you’ve found some inspiration here to go off and do what makes you happy. I can’t imagine going back to a full time working for the man kind of role again. If I had to, I could do both. But for now running my Etsy shop is the most fulfilling thing.

One Little Happy Thing

As a thankyou for reading please please please head over to my shop and treat yourself to 20% off! Just click the above image and you can go for a browse 🙂

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Beginners Minimalism: 3 baby steps to take towards minimalism.

I’ve outlined all of the reasons you should embrace minimalism in my earlier post. Which is all fine and dandy, but when it comes to practicing minimalism it can be difficult to know where to start.

So, I’ve come up with some minimalism baby steps, small things you can do which will set you up for starting your journey towards a more minimal life. Minimalism is something I’ve only recently started developing a passion for, so these are things I’ve done recently.

Even if you’re not sure about minimalism (which I highly doubt else you wouldn’t be reading this post amirite?!) there is no harm in doing any of these three things. They are simple and small and very very easy. No excuses.

Baby steps to minimalism

1. Have a clear out.

Now, we’re not talking about parting with your most precious items here. I’m talking about getting rid of those old clothes at the back of the wardrobe, or the old shoes you haven’t worn in years but can’t bear to part with.

Collect together some of your unwanted goods and either throw them away, recycle them, donate to charity or donate to friends and family.

This will clear the decks slightly, making it easy for you to see the difference having less stuff will make. It’s like a weight off your shoulders. And this will only be from getting rid of things you actually don’t want, so it won’t be difficult work to do.

Once you’ve removed the items you know you definitely don’t want you can start considering which items you do want to keep but that you don’t need. But don’t push yourself to part with family heirlooms straight away. Work your way up to it.

Or don’t work your way up to it. Minimalism is personal, make it work for you. If you’re like me there may be some items you will never want to part with, and that’s okay. Minimalism is more about curbing your compulsive consumerism and breaking the emotional attachment you have to things, focusing more on the moment and being more mindful in your behaviour.

In other words, if you own something which genuinely brings you joy, don’t part with it. But don’t keep it for the wrong reasons, like fearing wasting money or thinking the item holds your emotions for you.

2. Don’t spend any unnecessary money for a week.

Disclaimer: This does not include money on food, bills or travel costs. These are things which are essential and can’t really be avoided, especially not to begin with.

But, you can cut down on any unnecessary spending. By this I mean buying clothes, trinkets, spending money on socializing like going to the cinema or something. Spending money which you don’t need to spend but that you want to spend.

You’ll be surprised how easy it is. You can find tonnes of free events to attend locally just through a simple google search or checking out events near you on Facebook. You could also have some friends over for a meal, just use the food you already have in the house to cook with.

It will also open your eyes to a more “make do and mend” mentality. Those jeans you love have a small tear in? No problem. Learn how to fix them rather than going out and buying a new pair. Pinterest and google have tonnes of resources for fixing rather than replacing things. And it is pretty much anything you can think of.

At the end of the week you’ll be more aware of how much money you have been spending unnecessarily, which is not only good for saving you money but also for giving you a different outlook. You don’t need tonnes of money to live the best life.

3.  Write down all the reasons you spend money.

Write yourself an extensive list of all the different reasons you spend money. This can include things like rent, bills, food and clothes shopping. And also any frivolous purchases and spending money on socializing. Write down every penny spent, don’t miss a thing.

And then for each one, write the reason why you have spent it. For your bills this is going to be obvious, you’ve spent it because you need to. But where this becomes more interesting are those frivolous spends. Like new clothes. Why did you buy those new clothes? Is it because you needed them, or just because you were feeling down and needed a boost? Or because you just plain old wanted them?

Think deeper about your shopping habits and it’ll become much clearer why you are spending money on things or occasions. By knowing the problem you have more chance of fixing it. If you find you use shopping as a way of making yourself feeling better then you know you need to find something else to get that boost.

Do this for as long as you need to before you get to the heart of where you’re consumerism comes from. I know that when I’m feeling down I’ll maybe treat myself to a lunch rather than making it at home, or I’ll buy a new DVD from my Amazon wish list just because.

It can be really eye opening this exercise.

Give these a try and let me know in the comments how you get on!

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Beginners Minimalism: 5 things you need to throw out today.

Spring has sprung. The seasons are changing, it’s a time synonymous with new beginnings and new life. In other words it’s the perfect time to make a change in your life.

Over the past few months I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism. It all seems very chic, but a little bit clinical. I must admit my house has a lot of trinkets: art work on the walls, ornaments on the shelves, books absolutely everywhere.

But I do like the idea of living in a less cluttered house. Especially now we have a dog, the house would be so much easier to clean! So, it seems it may be time to start embracing minimalism.

I must admit though, the thought of throwing away some of my things, especially the books, daunts me a little bit. I do have a little bit of an emotional attachment to some of them. But I also really like seeing them, so for now I think the books will stay.

But there are so many things around the house which could go, and I bet a lot of other people out there have the same things lingering about. So, TA-DA, my list of the 5 things you need to throw away today.

beginners minimalism

1. Old magazines/newspapers/leaflets

Not sure about you, but I tend to hoard magazines to read at a later date, but then never ever read them. Where we live we receive a magazine every few months filled with ads for local companies. I like to read these as I like to keep my spending money in local pockets. But I never do actually read them.

Same with local newspapers and takeaway leaflets that come through the door. They gather in a pile either by the front door or on the coffee table. These should be the first things to go. Especially magazines you’ve already read.

If there are things in there which you are keeping the whole magazine for, take pictures of the information on your phone. That way you can keep it to hand without the clutter.

2. Unused/broken clothes hangers.

Every time I go shopping for new clothes I never refuse the offer of clothes hangers (although, has anybody else noticed they aren’t offered out as much anymore?). Hence my wardrobe now has more clothes hangers than actual clothes.

If you’re like me and have exactly the same problem then it is pretty easy to remedy, and leaves you with a surprising amount of space for more clothes in the future. I’ve also started thinking about longevity and being more eco friendly through sensible purchases. Wooden coat hangers are the way forward.

But for the time being, bag them up and throw them away! Or you could always check and see if one of your local charity shops would like them. Unless they’re pretty broken, in which case better just to throw them away.

3. Unworn clothes.

Wardrobes are one of the first places in a home where clutter manifests itself. Clothes which no longer fit, or are getting a bit grubby looking tend to stay there until you can’t squeeze anymore clothes in. Or that may just be me.

But this is a good place to start when it comes to removing clutter from the house. Take out all of your clothes and put them into 3 piles: keep, charity, bin. Obviously the keep clothes are the ones which still have life in them and are worn regularly. The charity pile is for the clothes which are still in good condition but either don’t fit or just aren’t your style anymore. Bin is for the tatty rags which haven’t been worn for years. (When I say bin you can recycle them, find a local recycling centre!).

Be tough. Don’t keep something that doesn’t fit just because you like the colour or may wear it again someday. Today is not that day. I had a dress in my wardrobe which I kept for years just because the colour was lovely. The dress is going to a charity shop and hopefully someone else will wear it.

4. Empty bottles, jars, containers etc.

Another one that me and my partner are terrible for is hoarding jam jars and empty shampoo bottles. Not because we’re lazy, but because we think they might have a use further down the line. The jam jars do generally get used as storage containers (we’re trying to move away from using so much plastic in the home) but some of the smaller ones we’ll never use.

And with empty toiletry bottles, for some reason we always fail at throwing them away. Mainly because I’m never certain if they can be recycled or not, and I hate throwing something away if it could’ve been recycled.

It’s no good though, holding onto things which essentially are trash. You could try repurposing some things, but then you’ll probably end up with a tonne of plants in glass jars which you don’t want either. It’s nice to not waste anything, but the crux of the issue is that you need to not buy so much to begin with.

5. Unnecessary trinkets.

I’m a bit of a bugger for holding onto trinkets. Shells picked up from the seaside, cute boxes from the charity shop and art I’ve bought with no plan of where to put it. All of these things are unnecessary purchases and are cluttering up our space.

Now, it’s here where you need to make a clear definition between items which bring you joy and which you don’t want to throw away because it seems like a waste. The number of items which bring you joy should be small. If everything is bringing you enjoyment then you’re not enjoying it for the right reasons.

Much like with your clothes, make piles. Keep, charity, bin. Anything which you adore should stay. Who wants to live in a barren home without the slightest hint of personality? Not me. But limit yourself in this pile for only the best of the best. Charity shop is good for old paintings. And bin those little trinkets like sea shells. Be ruthless.

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Beginners Minimalism: The benefits of a minimalist life.

I’ve decided to write a mini-series about minimalism, and how we beginners can get involved in it. Now, if you’re not sure exactly what minimalism is, then let me explain. It’s about stripping back the unnecessary elements to your life, living simpler, and moving away from consumerism.

Minimalism isn’t just about not owning or buying anything. It is also about minimalizing your life: living well within your means, enjoying simpler things and being more mindful. There is a great big link between being mindful and minimal which I will explain further down.

However, before you can start your journey towards living a more minimal life, you need to understand what’s in it for you.

The benefits of minimalism

1. You will become more financially independent.

Without the unnecessary purchases, you will spend less money. It really is as simple as that. And when you spend less money, then you’re no longer obligated to earn as much money. This could mean potentially being able to quit your day job to pursue your own business dreams, or maybe even being able to drop down to part time hours.

It also means you will be able to pay off any debt you have quicker, getting you towards financial independence. Being debt free sounds pretty nice doesn’t it?

2. Your home will be easier to clean.

Without piles of clutter and junk on every surface being able to clean will be so much easier. I really hate dusting, because there are so many things which have to be moved to be able to do it, then moved back afterwards. How much easier would it be without them?!

Having less things also means having less things to clean. If you don’t have junk catching and holding onto dust then you don’t have to clean dust from it. You’ll also have less clothes to wash. This is all sounding pretty good isn’t it?

3. Your happiness will no longer rely on objects.

We can all be guilty of trying to buy our happiness. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is a behaviour that shouldn’t be encouraged. When you buy something to fill the gap within in you, you’re not actually dealing with the issue, and before long it becomes a nasty cycle.

The more you buy, the less money you have, the more you worry, the less happy you are, so you buy more. And the cycle continues. Break it now.

4. You will become more aware of how much waste you produce.

Sounds like an odd after effect of getting a bit minimal, but you really will notice a difference. Your bin bags will take longer to fill because you’re not continuously buying things wrapped in more things which then need throwing away.

I find it utterly ridiculous that you can’t even buy mushrooms without then having a plastic tub and a sheet of cling film to throw away. We recently visited Ikea and came away with a few purchases (essentials only) but I was surprised by how much rubbish this small amount of purchases came with. Everything was wrapped in cardboard then wrapped again in plastic for good measure. Silly.

5. Reduce re-use recycle will become your best friend.

If the hem of your favourite pair of jeans started fraying, would you repair or throw away and buy some more? When you let minimalism into your life it stops being a question. Of course you repair! Why would you need another pair of jeans when the ones you have are salvageable.

Same goes with pretty much anything: clothes, homeware, even electronics if you’re feeling daring. Minimalism goes hand in hand with wanting to keep hold of your money, and there is no better way of doing that than make do and mend.

6. You will feel less stressed.

This is across the board on all aspects of minimalism. If you don’t have as much debt, you won’t have as much stress about money. If you don’t have a lot of clutter around, you won’t be stressed about the house being a mess.

Minimalism also stretches to your social life, self care is a high priority when dealing with minimalism and so you’ll feel less stressed for that too. No longer saying yes to everything just because you think you have to, and taking care of yourself better.

Needless to say there are so many benefits to bringing minimalism into your life. My mini series is going to look into various different aspects, such as little things you can do to start your minimalism journey, methods of minimalism, and the benefits you’ll find associated to it.

If you want to keep up to date with my latest posts please follow the blog so you’ll be notified by email of when a new one goes live.

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5 little steps towards becoming vegan

Veganism seems to be growing in popularity at the moment. However vegans still seem to get a bad press, and honestly I can understand why. I’ve recently had to leave a Facebook group I was in purely because of the obnoxious attitudes of some of the members. But thankfully we’re not all like that.

I have only been vegan for a few months. My partner was vegan, and he slowly converted me. Through education, guidance and being kind. And I honestly think that is the best way to introduce people to veganism.

Now, if you’re reading this, we can assume you already have an interest in becoming vegan, but perhaps don’t really know where to start. Don’t fret! We have all been there. It’s a journey. A journey which is really worth taking. You will only know how worth it once you’ve already started.

However if you’re reading this and may need some convincing, I implore you to watch What the Health. It’s available on Netflix, and I think it is also on YouTube. Treat yourself and watch it. It is the most eye-opening documentary I’ve watched in a long time. I’ve heard some of the science behind it may be a little bit iffy, but it is still worth watching to see the other things they talk about.

For those of you who are ready to start your journey I am more than happy to hold your hand through it. Just leave me a comment, or you can find me over on Instagram @onelittlehappything.

5 steps towards becoming vegan

Step 1 – Swap milks

This is the easiest step. The availability of dairy free milk alternatives has shot through the roof in recent times. All of the major supermarkets in the UK now stock their own brand versions, I’ve even seen soya milk available in small newsagents.

Not only are they available, but they also taste pretty good. You may need to play around with it a bit, but there are tonnes out there. Soya, rice, coconut, cashew, almond: all different kinds of milks.

My personal favourite is the Waitrose own brand unsweetened soya milk, because I think it tastes the most like dairy milk, and also behaves the most like dairy milk. I’ve also heard a lot of people say they swear by the Oatley Barista milk.

Dependent on how much milk you use it can also work out slightly cheaper. My partner and I use 1 box of the Waitrose soya milk, which is about 60p. If we were to buy cows milk we’d be looking at about £1.50. It’s only a small saving but it all adds up!

Step 2 – Find a meat and cheese replacement you enjoy

Before I became vegan I was a massive meat eater. I ate meat with every meal. So cutting it out entirely was difficult. To begin with I still allowed myself to eat meat once a week, but after a few weeks I could see that wasn’t enough: it was time to cut it out for good.

Going cold turkey (excuse the pun) was hard. The only way I managed was by finding decent substitutes which soothed my animal product cravings.

I found my favourite sausages are the Linda McCartney ones. And my favourite cheese is Violife. Luckily these were readily available at most of my local supermarkets. And again, a lot of the larger supermarket chains are making their own vegan friendly meat substitutes.
Cheese substitutes can be a little harder. A lot of people say they taste like vomit, but I quite like them. If you find yourself struggling to find a substitute that works, considering making your own! There are a million recipes out there. Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to vegan recipes.

Step 3 – Learn how to read ingredients

This one sounds a bit patronizing, but honestly I didn’t realise how little I knew about what I was eating before turning vegan. In the UK any potential allergens are highlighted in bold. This includes milk, eggs etc. So it can be easy to quickly skim the ingredients list and if none of these are listed you’ll think you’re okay.

But not necessarily. Sneaky un-vegan ingredients come in the form of honey, E numbers and undescriptive additives. A good resource for learning about these is just here.

I find it handy to keep a list on my phone of any that I know are non-vegan. And you will need to get used to googling pretty much everything for a little while.

Step 4 – Find vegan friendly toiletries

Oh no, veganism isn’t just about food! A lot of every day toiletries and household products either contain animal products or are tested on animals. In the UK some companies actually label their products either vegan or cruelty free. But remember, cruelty free doesn’t necessarily mean vegan.

The Vegan Society has tonnes of resources for when it comes to knowing what it, and what isn’t vegan. Or if you’re not sure generally a quick google search brings it up. And if that still doesn’t work, you’ve got to make a decision as to whether try it anyway, or give it a miss.

Step 5 – Make some vegan friends

Now, I know I started this article by saying how I left one vegan Facebook group due to the members, but in other places I’ve spoken to some awesome people.

Search for your local vegan group on Facebook as generally they do arrange meet ups for local vegans. Consider it a good way of meeting some likeminded people near to you. They can also provide support if you have a weak day.

Instagram is also a fantastic resource for vegans. There are so many vegans on Instagram I can’t believe it. Try searching under #vegan #veganuk #veganfoodshare and #crueltyfree. You will find millions of people, honest.

Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on how you can take some baby steps towards becoming vegan. Honestly, the first month or so is hard because you will probably still crave animal products. But after a while your taste buds genuinely do change.

A few weeks back I ate some cheese. I had a weak moment. And honestly it was gross. It only reassured me that the decision I’ve made is the best decision for me. You will have moments like this, but stay strong.

If you do feel like you’re struggling, come find me on Instagram @onelittlehappything. I’m pretty nice, I’ll try and help how I can.

You may also be interested in checking out my Etsy shop where I have some prints dedicated to my love of the vegan lifestyle. Check it out!

Vegan. For the animals. For the planet. For me.

Plant powered

Animals are friends not good okay?

If you still need some convincing, check out one of my earlier blog posts How going vegan will make you happier